According to new research, the Bitcoin network’s annual transaction volume has exceeded that of other well-known card networks like Discover and American Express (AmEx).
According to the NYDIG Research Weekly, Bitcoin processed $3 trillion in payments between 2021 and 2021. This puts it ahead of popular credit card networks American Express ($1.3 Trillion) and Discover ($0.5 Trillion).
Ethan Kochav and NYDIG Global Head for Research Greg Cipolaro, both researchers, found that Bitcoin had processed more transactions in Q1 2021, than all credit card networks.
They wrote, “This is an astonishing growth in our opinion for a payment network which just celebrated its thirteenth birthday.” American Express issued its first card back in 1958 and Discover in 1985.
The Bitcoin network has much to do before it can catch up to Visa or Mastercard which have processed $13.5 trillion and $7.7 billion respectively.
The study did not count the actual transactions. It only measured the transaction volume in $USD. It is likely that the majority of BTC transactions were just users buying, trading, and selling their BTC, rather than paying for anything.
Although Bitcoin’s transaction volume growth has not been constant year-over-year, Cipolaro and Kochav stated that the growth has “kept up at an incredible pace when you look at 5-year compound annual growth rates.”
“At the close of 2021, transaction volume has been increasing by almost 100% annually over 5 years.”
Blockdata’s Nov. 2021 report stated that Bitcoin could match Mastercard’s dollar value transfered on Mastercard’s network as soon as 2026. The report also showed that Bitcoin already processes more volume per dollar than PayPal.
The report states that the Bitcoin network processed $489 billion in quarters in 2021. This is more than PayPal’s $302 million.
Related: Bitcoin surpasses PayPal in value transfer, set sights on Mastercard: Bericht
The measure of Bitcoin transaction volume doesn’t reflect the actual number of transactions on-chain, but instead “relies upon statistical analysis by data providers (such like Glassnode), to remove transactions that aren’t economically significant.”
The report also includes transactions between addresses in the same wallet, or owned by the exact same organization. This could be a crypto exchange that moves Bitcoin frequently between different addresses. In other words, the $3 trillion figure should be taken with a grain of salt.